Buyer's Remorse

Who else here has buyer’s remorse with their Glowforge Pro? I’ve just spent the last 6 hours messing around with our machine to do a project that should have taken 2 hours…Constantly cycling through Scanning, Focusing, Centering and Offline. On top of this we always have trouble getting circular images to line up properly within circular projects…If I could get a refund and find a better machine more suited for our needs I would do it in a heartbeat!!!

-Frustrated in the NW!!

Not sure if I should give you the big picture (Glowforge will keep working with you until you get a working machine) or incident response (keep troubleshooting until you are up and running.)

A couple of issues seem to be at work:

  1. 1/4" room for lid camera alignment
  2. connectivity.

I can only say that for the past three months, every time I have started the Glowforge and wanted to do a print, it has worked well, and I can count on my machine being 1/8" accurate in horizontal, and less than that in vertical.

Tell us more about your situation. Wifi issues? Has it worked always before? Is it design specific?

I’m here to help if you wish. Just a guy who has been working on this for a while.


So an entire calibration sequence with no input from you (ie rebooting the machine). This is an indicator that the machine is losing connection - either the internet connection is dropping intermittently, or the WiFi connection is dropping and reestablishing itself.

Looking back through your post history, it seems like it has been an ongoing issue for you. And I see that you keep it in a “far back room”.

I didn’t read through the prior threads, but have you done anything to either verify a strong connection, or address a weak connection?


We have moved it back into the main house for the winter because the back room was too cold. It just constantly cycles between everything other than ready. Homing. Focusing. Offline. Centering. Our wifi is a fiber optic 38mbps connection in the middle of the country. It’s solid and we watch all of our TV through streaming services without any issues whatsoever. It’s just not communicating with our laptop for some reason. I just can’t understand why they wouldn’t make a hardline connection available and the wireless adaptability be a feature. Being completely remote leaves the entire system open to these types of issues. When our machine is working it’s awesome but it seems we are always running into roadblocks every couple weeks. We bought the Pro and invested a lot of money because it said it was suitable for “all day usage”…Well whenever we ask it to work all day there are always issues and we have to power cycle and reboot a dozen times to finish a project. Yesterday was a simple 20 piece order with front and back engravings. It should have taken 4hrs at the most. Instead it took the better part of 11 and many frustrations along the way

I’d test the strength of your WiFi in the location it’s in, and possibly look at getting a $30-50 WiFi booster for the room IF that’s the issue. For such a big investment, that’s a small cost IF it’s the WiFi. Just because you can stream TV doesn’t necessarily mean the connectivity is good - most of that cache’s the feed so it’s uninterrupted. I have no clue how the GF communicates with the mothership or computer feeding the design, if it caches, doesn’t cache, etc. But IF it’s the WiFi, invest in a booster. I have my GF in the basement and have a booster right next to it and have had no issues (I have a Pro as well).

If it’s not WiFi, I’d stay on top of support. Like marmak said, GF support will keep working with you to get a good working unit. I’ve been extremely lucky to have only had 1 minor issue with my Pro unit, but given what I’ve read in the forums re: support I believe they’ll do whatever it takes to make it right. These things are not cheap and they know that!


Just as a point of clarification: the Glowforge is not directly communicating with the laptop. Everything goes through the “cloud,” so it uses your router as a means to access the internet to send data up, and receive data down to the Glowforge.

For example, the Glowforge takes a picture for calibration purposes, it sends the data through the router to Glowforge servers, the servers decide the next course of action (say, a motion plan), and that motion plan is sent from the GF servers through your router, back to the Glowforge.

Or, the Glowforge takes a picture of the bed, sends it through the router to the GF servers, and then it’s downloaded through the internet to your laptop.


To update that to what we know,

Web Browser ( >>>>> Internet >>>>> Glowforge ‘Cloud’ >>>>> Internet >>>>> Glowforge Basic/Pro.

Which means, to control the glowforge- your traffic does two round trips over your internet connection. Specifically your wireless connection if the device that’s accessing the control page ( is also using.

After using one and setting up others for a couple years now, The Glowforge is good at making ‘okay’ to ‘moderate’ wireless connections bad. This is not due to the bandwidth consumption, mostly on how many times does each side have to rebroadcast if the connection is bad. Then eventually timeout.

As stated before, TV streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime & etc…) or devices like Roku, Apple TV & the likes are not the best way to benchmark wireless connections. As those services buffer and provide ‘look ahead’.

The best test if possible is to move the unit closer to the access point. If that does not correct it then run a couple benchmarks from a device wired into your network then again wireless. If there is a big discrepancy you may want to invest into a new wireless router or a mesh network (Google Wifi is pretty damn good.)


A quick and easy way to do this is to set your phone up as a hot spot and just put it on the machine - so long as your phone has a signal. Re making moderate connections bad, my experience is that the GF has about a 10dBm discrepancy (to the bad side) compared to other devices the same distance from the access point.

The speed means almost nothing (so long as the device isn’t competing for limited bandwidth), aside from downloading large motion plans. My data gets throttled by Verizon after just a few days down to 600 kb/s, and it has little to no impact aside from uploading large images for engraving and the subsequent downloading of large motion plans.


Google WiFi is pretty good, but I personally went with the Orbi system, mainly because of the size of our house and the coverage I wanted (plus reviews on a handful of sites). I LOVE it and it works better than Powerline ethernet adapters (we use Plex in the movie room on an Xbox and the WiFi was faster / better than Powerline adapters!).

But that’s an expensive solution as well - I did it because I needed new. Adding a WiFi booster to an existing WiFi network is a lot cheaper and works very well. My buddy just added one to his cabin up in the mountains because he couldn’t sit in his new cedar hot tub outside and get good WiFi signal from the house. $30 later with a purchase from BestBuy and he’s as happy as a steamed clam.


Just my experience… Had a pre-producrion unit beginning I early 2017 and a Pro for 14 months now. Haven’t lost my wifi or internet connectivity ever. Not a single time. From the experience of others it’s almost always the connection between the unit and the local wifi that causes problems. Rarely it’s a machine H/W issue. Seems to be voodoo to figure out the exact issue with the router/wifi settings but once sorted you shouldn’t have to deal with the problems described.


Wifi Boosters and Repeaters are a no go. As these operate half duplex. Which means it cuts whatever your initial speed in half and creates more issues if the unit its repeating from is having issues to begin with.

Unless it’s a hardware failure (which Support will need to verify for you) it’s a WiFi issue. One thing to consider is, even if you have a decent signal where your Glowforge is, try a different 2.4 GHz channel. You may have neighbors or other devices in your own home that may be crosstalking on the same channel. I had the exact same issue in my last house. Changed channels and BOOM… worked perfectly from that moment on.


Perhaps - the boosters might be an issue, so they you’d need to look at a fully meshed system like I have. And even at $250 it’s still worth it IMO.

I too had this problem quite a lot last year. It was not down to signal strength as this can easily be checked on most routers home pages, mines an Asus.
Since then I now power down and up my router a minute before I turn on the GF and so far I have not had any more issues. It seems to me that some routers do not like either some of the data packet types or the form of the data that the GF uses if the routers have been on a long time. Perhaps its some form of traffic shaping or anti hack attack protection in the router. I don’t think I have anything special enabled in mine but who knows.
Perhaps one day I will have the time to do some packet sniffing on the data flow.

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I’m sorry you’ve been running into trouble, and I’d like to help get you back on track. Regarding the Calibration cycle, there’s been some good advice in this thread already (thanks, everyone!). I’ve pulled the logs from your Glowforge to investigate more closely, and it does appear that your unit is having trouble maintaining a stable connection to your Wi-Fi network. Though network-specific Wi-Fi challenges may occur for a number of different reasons, I have a couple of suggestions that should help:

  • Since Glowforge only uses the 2.4GHz frequency, a connection will be harder to establish and maintain on a crowded 2.4GHz network. Other devices using 2.4GHz, like cordless phones and microwaves, can cause interference and an unstable connection. You can consult your router settings to check the performance and traffic on your 2.4GHz network.
  • In your network settings, check the channel you’re using for the 2.4GHz band. Trying a different channel may provide a more consistent connection.

If you’re still having trouble, there’s a test you can try that will help us narrow down the problem. If possible, could you please create a Wi-Fi hotspot with a cell phone and use that network to connect your Glowforge to Wi-Fi? This is a good way to rule out signal interference, since you can set your phone right on top of your Glowforge!

You can find instructions online to help you create a Wi-Fi hotspot using a cell phone. Make sure that you set it up to be a 2.4 GHz hotspot, since that is the frequency your Glowforge uses.

Once the Wi-Fi hotspot is broadcasting, you can connect to it by following these steps:

  1. Turn on your Glowforge.
  2. Wait 30 seconds. Then hold down the button for ten seconds until it glows teal.
  3. Navigate to and follow the instructions on-screen. When prompted to connect your Glowforge to Wi-Fi, choose the hotspot you created.
  4. Once Wi-Fi setup is complete, go to and try a few prints.
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It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email